China's Inner Mongolia to invest 6.2 mln USD in grassland insurance
North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region plans to insure over 2.5 million hectares of grasslands against natural disasters this year, according to the regional forestry and grassland bureau.
The regional government will spend more than 40 million yuan (about 6.18 million U.S. dollars) to insure vast grasslands in eight leagues and cities.
If the grasslands are hit by natural disasters such as drought, fire, plague of rats or sandstorms, herders in the area will be compensated by the insurance company, said Wang Jianhe, deputy head of Inner Mongolia's forestry and grassland work station.
Wang said the grassland insurance, with a trial period of three years, is expected to cover the whole region to improve the ecological environment, better protect the grasslands and benefit more herders.
Inner Mongolia is home to approximately one-fifth of the country's total grasslands. But the vegetation is threatened by desertification and degradation due to overgrazing, drought and insufficient protection in the late 1990s.
With the support of the central government in recent years, Inner Mongolia has launched a grassland protection project, increasing its grassland vegetation coverage to 45 percent.
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